Leading Acid Etching Manufacturers

Acid etching is a process where a hard metal is cut using a specially formulated acid to allow the formation of the desired design onto the metal. The acid etching process uses mordant acids that are available together with chemical compounds to impart a physical or aesthetic improvement to the metal surface. Read More…

Acid Etching Acid etching, otherwise known as chemical milling or chemical etching, is a chemical process used by many industrial metal parts manufacturers to etch, cut or engrave very delicate or precise lines into metal.

Great Lakes Engineering is a trend setting manufacturer of surface mount stencils, precision laser cut parts, and photo chemical etched parts. We work with a wide range of materials, including Stainless Steel, Copper, Titanium, Nitinol, Nickel, Kovar and many others.

Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. $$$

VACCO is the industry leader of Photo Chemical Etching of metal & polyimide components and devices. We specialize in Stainless steel, Titanium, and Copper, but work with a variety of different materials. We have over 60 years of experience in Chem Etching, and we offer Micro Laser Cutting & Welding, and Diffusion & Adhesive Bonding services along with an extensive range of value-added services. ...

VACCO Industries, Inc. $$$

The MET Manufacturing Group, LLC process offers many technical & financial advantages in manufacturing various flat metal components. Try this precision etching, non-mechanical process for competitively priced, burr & stress free sheet metal products, up to 62 mil (.062”) thick. Our photo-chemical machining process is also known as photo-fabrication, photo etching, chemical milling & acid...

MET Manufacturing Group, LLC $$$

Etchit is your high-quality solution for custom-manufactured precision metal parts and components. We use photochemical machining to make products for such industries as aerospace, audio, automotive, computer, circuit board, decorative and fastener. Does your product need photo etching processes?

Etchit $$$

PEI is a leading producer of photochemical machining and photochemical etching precision and decorative metal parts. We use chemical machining and etching as a process to selectively remove material by chemical action, creating extraordinary cost-effectiveness. In business since 1967.

Photofabrication Engineering Inc. $$$

Photochemical machining is the process we use on aluminum (and alloys), brass, copper, inconels, kovar, metal foils (less than .001” thick), metal sheets (up to .125” thick), mild steels, molybdenum, monels, nickel, phosphor bronze, stainless (300 & 400) and others. Trust your metal etching needs to us.

Lancaster Metals Science Corporation $$$
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placeholder image Great Lakes Engineering, Inc. VACCO Industries, Inc. MET Manufacturing Group, LLC Etchit Photofabrication Engineering Inc. Lancaster Metals Science Corporation

Acid Etching

Acids Used in Acid Etching

Many types of acids are used in etching stainless steel, including sulphuric acid and nitric acid. These acids all require proper and careful handling. The acids can dissolve fingers or stainless steel. A faster etching process is usually the result of a stronger acid.

Acids Used In Etching

Hydrochloric acid is mostly used during copper etching. In the etching of mild steels, copper sulfate is used. Nitric acid is best used in a one-to-three ratio with water.

Metals That Can be Acid Etched

Any known metals can be etched with acid, the most popular being attractive metals due to their characteristics and properties. Metals that are used mostly in acid etching are listed below:

Acid Etched Metal

Titanium – Titanium is a strong, lightweight metal that possesses good fatigue characteristics.

Aluminum – Aluminum is another strong and lightweight metal with good corrosion resistance and weight ratio.

Copper – Copper is a soft metal that etches very quickly.

Nickel – Nickel is resistant to extreme temperatures and usually used as an alloy.

Stainless Steel – Stainless steel is very resistant to corrosion.

Acid Etched Stainless Steel

Bronze – Bronze is a ductile metal. It is very firm, stiff, and hard compared to copper.

Molybdenum – This metal has high strength characteristics and good electrical conductivity. Molybdenum is known for its high thermal properties and low thermal expansion.

Types of Acid Etchings

The types of acid etchings include:

Steel Etching

The requirements for steel etching are distilled water, acetone, plastic container, rubber gloves, ferric chloride, wet-steel wool, etch resist, and dental paper. The most important part is the preparation of these etching components. Poor preparation will give a disappointing outcome.

The initial stage of preparation involves dissembling the knife, where there should be no amount of acid on the liners, scales, or washers. Afterward, the blade is cleaned with acetone. This process creates a very clean surface so that the etch resist will adhere to it quickly.

The third stage involves the creation of the etch resist pattern. The pattern is formed on the steel as a barrier is created to stop the acid before it reaches the steel. A pattern forms when the resistance is removed, and all the exposed metal is darkened and marked by the acid.

Following this step, the etch acid is mixed before the etching starts. This mixing must be done in a well-ventilated area. There are two main processes of acid etching: acid bath etching and focused etching. Sanding, stone washing, and clean-up follow before the final results are obtained.

Aluminum Etching

Aluminum etching is considered a less toxic, simple, cheap, and safer kind of metal etching. The general steps in aluminum etching start with the preparation of the mordant. Next, copper sulfate is dissolved with salt, and the solution is allowed to cool. Copper sulfate is toxic in large quantities.

The etch must always be allowed to cool before use since it can produce an aggressive smoke during etching. However, the process is quick to finish, and interesting textures can be obtained if coarse salt is used.

Applications and Benefits of Acid Etching

The applications and benefits of acid etching include:

Applications and Uses of Acid Etching

The applications of acid etching are broad, and listed below are some of the areas they cover:

  • Lead frames
  • Contacts and electrical connectors
  • Motor laminations
  • Medical instruments and devices
  • Plate heat exchangers
  • Filters, meshes, and sieves
  • Gaskets, washers, and shims
  • Cranio maxillofacial implants
Acid Etched Filter Screen

Benefits of Acid Etching

  • Little or no hard tooling is required
  • Unlimited complexity
  • Low cost
  • Fast iterations
  • High accuracy
  • The metal's properties are unaffected
Component Clean-up

Choosing the Right Acid Etching Company

To make sure you have the most productive outcome when purchasing Acid Etching from an Acid Etching Manufacturer, it is important to compare at least 4 or 5 Companies using our list of Acid Etching suppliers. Each Acid Etching Supplier has a business profile page that highlights their areas of experience and capabilities and a contact form to directly communicate with the manufacturer for more information or request a quote. Review each Acid Etching company website using our proprietary website previewer to get an idea of what each company specializes in, and then use our simple RFQ form to contact multiple Acid Etching companies with the same message.

Acid Etching Informational Video


Metal Etching Power Pages

Acid Etching

Acid Etching

Acid etching, also known as chemical etching or photo etching, is the process of cutting a hard surface like metal by means of a specially formulated acid for the process of etching in order to allow for the creation of a design onto the metal...

Chemical Milling

Chemical Milling

Chemical milling is a subtractive machining process that removes material from a workpiece to achieve a desired shape. Unlike aggressive milling methods that depend on sharp tools to produce a design, chemical milling erodes sections...

Metal Etching

Metal Etching

Metal etching is a metal removal process that uses various methods to configure complex, intricate, and highly accurate components and shapes. Its flexibility allows for instantaneous changes during processing...

Photochemical Etching

Photochemical Etching

Photochemical etching, also known as photochemical machining or metal etching, is a non-traditional, subtractive machining process in which photographic and chemical techniques are used to shape the metal workpiece...

Water Jet Cutting

Water Jet Cutting

Water jet cutting is a manufacturing process that uses high pressure jets of water provided by pressurizing pumps that deliver a supersonic stream of water to cut and shape various types of materials. The water in water jet cutting is...

Laser Cutting

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting is a non-traditional machining method that uses an intensely focused, coherent stream of light called lasers to cut through the material. This is a type of subtractive machining process where the material is continuously removed during the cutting process...

Metal Cutting Services

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